Gazprom to Pay For Okhta Center

ST. PETERSBURG -- Gazprom agreed to pay in full for the construction of its oil unit's headquarters in St. Petersburg after the city cut funding for the 60 billion ruble ($2.1 billion) project.

Gazprom will take over St. Petersburg's 49 percent stake in the venture and compensate the city for the work already carried out, the municipal government said in a statement, without providing financial details. Gazprom chief executive Alexei Miller and St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko signed the agreements in the city Friday.

The Okhta Center is on the eastern edge of the historical center of the former imperial capital. It includes office buildings, museums and other public areas anchored by the Gazprom Neft tower, which will be about 400 meters tall. The project is scheduled for completion in 2016.

St. Petersburg's government backed out of the project to avoid a budget shortfall because of the economic crisis.